Courts can use the Conditional Release Order (CRO) to deal with first time and less serious offences where the offender is unlikely to present a risk to the community.
The benefit of CROs is that the court can impose conditions such as drug and alcohol abstention, programs, non-association requirements or place restrictions where appropriate. CROs can also have a supervision condition. Courts have discretion to impose a conviction on a CRO, if they consider it appropriate. CROs can be imposed for a period of up to two years.
The CRO acts as a warning and provides the option to divert less serious offenders out of the criminal justice system, freeing up resources to deal with the offenders who cause the greatest concern to the community. If an offender commits any further offences while on a CRO, subsequent penalties may be more severe.